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Posted January 25, 2015
"Return of the Dittos" is a collection of short stories that range from gently humorous to sharply satirical; if you enjoy humor essays, youre probably the target audience for this book.
The stories tackle a wide range of subjects, opening with one that immediately grabs your attention: a man pleading for leniency after an indiscretion with another woman (you assume it's to his wife or girlfriend, but will be surprised at the end). From there, the eponymous "Return of the Dittos" skewers sitcoms, their stars, and audience appetite for nostalgia; "Fade to Black" sends up the work of a maligned director named Max Schmucker and his body of work, including "Annie Get Your Shiv;" and "The Queen of Swampwater" takes you into the cutthroat world of the Mosquito County Woman's Club.
The stories I found the most amusing were actually all set in Mosquito County, which I think could be the basis of an entire book; its denizens are flawed and the author clearly relishes in having fun at their expense. I also really enjoyed the author's voice in his treatment of pop culture and its audience. The stories are well-written, some short and punchy to get a gut reaction while others are more developed; however, many have a sharply pointed conclusion that is both surprising and delightful.
I will say that as a reader I do prefer longer stories that all weave together, but that's just my personal preference (and why I was more drawn to the stories connected by Mosquito County). However, if you like humor essays like those of David Sedaris or light-hearted and satirical fiction, you will probably enjoy these stories.
Posted December 25, 2014
Return of the Dittos by Dale Andrew White is a collection of short stories obvious meant for the reader's entertainment. I think the cover
of the book explains it all. It is a picture of an old TV and that is what these stories remind me of, watching old black and white comedies
and in some cases, Twilight Zone in the good ole days. The stories are all varied in theme, some are purely humorous while some may
use irony. If you don't like one story just keep reading, you may like the next one. It is the perfect book to take with you to enjoy a quick
story while waiting at a Dr. office or whenever you have a few minutes because chances are you will be able to read a complete story in
just a few minutes.
I only found one story, 'Infatuated,' that I thought was 'sick' for lack of a better way of explaining it. I don't want to give any spoilers away
so I really can't explain it but what I mean by it, it is like reading a story about someone who has a foot fetish. This is not what this story is
about, it is about something else so be clear on this, I am only using 'foot fetish' as a way to explain it. I do not find feet sexy, nor do I
worship them. To me those that do are 'sick' and this is what I mean about this story, it is 'sick'. (Again, it has nothing to do with feet.)
Other stories can possibly be non-fiction although the author has already stated the book is fiction. The story that comes to mind is
'Disappearing Act' which is about a secret experiment concerning the human mind at a college for a Psychology class on Perceptions &
Realities. This experiment is done on students through the course of the semester and after reading it, I realized I too believed and
wondered what in my life have I (and how many others) perceived as a reality when in fact it was a deception all along. So this story
even had me thinking about the statement, "The charade proved that the human mind will gullibly accept a fiction as a fact, if society
insists it is so."
Another story that just cracked me up was 'Little Birdie' by the way the narrator was talking to me, the reader. It was if this 'narrator' is a
person living within my mind that is the same 'narrator' for everything I do. It is the one that tells me stories when I read a book, it is the
same one that tells me what the letter I received in the mail says, and it is the same one from when I was 2 years old. Well, this hilarious
story is about what happens because this 'narrator' had enough of the 'me'.
A story that was very deep is 'On Tour with a Confederate Soldier' while I didn't quite know what one other story was about, other than it
was ironic. There are so many stories I can't comment on each one but they are such a wide variety in these stories I find it difficult to
believe there isn't something for everyone.
Since these are all short stories (approximately 25 of them) there is no real development of characters or plots and subplots or any time
lines and such that I can talk about the development of. About all I can say is that each story had characters that were well enough
developed that I knew what I needed to know to make sense of the story. Some I liked, some not so much but either way, at least I knew
enough about them to draw my own conclusion. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys short stories and has a sense of
*I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
Posted December 20, 2014
This is a montage of stories that had me laughing from start to finish. This author is gifted in conveying his brand of slapstick humor. From the wild and wacky story of Christopher Columbus applying for a grant, to the disgusting nose fetish, nothing was too weird to be made fun of. I felt like all the stories had a vintage feel to them, and there was a definite tone of pulling for the underdog.
It was a very enjoyable read and it brought me back to my childhood memories of stories that my back-of-the-woods grandfather would tell many years ago. I could read this collection over and over without ever tiring of it.
Posted December 18, 2014
Title: Return of the Dittos
Author: Dale Andrew White
Reviewer: George Shadow
The author of "Moe Howard Died For Our Sins" returns with another collection of hilarious short stories.
Hilarious is the word to watch out for here. A collection of very funny short stories brings to the fore the lighter side of Author Andrew White. From AN UNLIKELY STORY to THE SIMPKINS REVELATION, the stories are as varied as they are oddly abrupt and take up many of life's aspects as themes.
Book Cover & Formatting
The book cover depicts the book's flagship story, RETURN OF THE DITTOS, another hilarious package taking up television series in its satire. The fonts and placement highlights the cover's beauty, and interior formatting is okay in my opinion.
The stories are called short for a reason. They are meant to make one laugh and think deeply as well, and they achieve these objectives with measured accuracy. Simple sentences make up the stories' complex compositions, and their endings will often surprise the reader. Of course, grammatical errors and typos are lacking here, a commendable achievement making for a more enjoyable reading.
Hilarious. Laugh all the way across its pages to the last story.
George Shadow is the author of THE BLACK BOOK.
Posted November 11, 2012
Return of the Dittos and other stories, by Dale Andrew White, is a collection of twenty short stories and all of which are worth reading. Mr. White uses irresistible humor and keen insight into human nature in his stories and the end result is an enjoyable reading experience.
In the opening story, An Unlikely Story, the reader is treated to the monologue of a man accused offering a woman money for certain services. It is important to note that the woman is an undercover police woman. The defense he offers is creative, clever and original. Return of the Dittos is about the reunion show of the cast of a sitcom called Eat Your Peas which aired thirty years ago. The author's descriptions of the cast members are memorable. The Labors of Peon, my personal favorite, is the tale of Adam Peon's short lived career as a bagboy at a Dixie King grocery store. This job changes his life and with good reason. Due to unforeseen developments, Adam finds himself in the position of labor organizer when the bagboys learn that their tips are to be discontinued. What transpires when the bagboys revolt is hysterical.
Richly developed characters paired with humorous dialogue and story lines the reader can relate to add up to great reading. The author uses wit and humor to engage the reader. I highly recommend reading these stories.
I received this book free of charge from Review the Book and I give this review of my own free will.
Posted August 19, 2012
What is the book about? A collection of short stories from the author
Dale Andrew White. A wide collection of different stories that will
appeal to a variety of people. Dale's stories vary from dark and gloomy
to laugh-out-loud humor, which shows how versatile the author really is
when it comes to his writing style. What did I think of the book? My
favorite short story in this collection was "Labors of Peon" a
story about a bag boy who fights for his right to accept tips from
customers. You'll lift an eyebrow and chuckle at
"Infatuated." You'll laugh out loud at stories like
"Little Birdie" and "The Simpkins Revelation." Enjoy
all twenty stories all at once or read them throughout the day, either
way you'll love this book. Each story is just long enough to contain
enough detail but short enough to read while riding the subway.
Posted May 30, 2012
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A short story is always enjoyable as long as it makes sense, entertains and holds the reader’s attention for its short life span. A prime example of well written short stories can be found in the book Return of the Dittos and other stories. This book is a collection of unique, absorbing and entertaining short stories by author Dale Andrew White that definitely meet the criteria for the enjoyable short story. Andrew Dale White is also the author of Moe Howard Died for Our Sins which is another well received novel.
Author Dale White is a marvelous storyteller that has a keen talent for producing humorous and sometimes fantastical stories that often arise from a rather skewed point of view. The stories included in this well written collection are very entertaining with lots of wit and satire to entice the reader to read on and before you know it you have reached the end of this great read. While reading this book I often found myself laughing out loud many times and other readers will experience the same which made it enjoyable and an easy read.
All of the stories in this book are great but there are a few that continue to resonate well after reading such as An Unlikely Story, The Return of the Dittos, Labors of Peon, Crossed Paths and The Simpkins Revelation. Ranging from the witty to the bizarre and all the stories in this collection are worth the read and I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Posted January 7, 2011
The short story genre has always been a difficult one for me to settle in to. Simple because by the time I am settling in to a story, it's over. It's a difficult thing to write effectively, and I suspect even more difficult to read when one is used to the normal, long-form novel. Dale Andrew White has crafted a collection of tales that captured my interested and held it fast through each of the 175 pages. From the Bagboy Liberation Army of The Labors of Peon to the quiet unassuming Miss Mona Darner in In Lieu of Flowers this collection is resplendent in characters you will identify with, laugh at, sympathise with, cheer for and more than anything else recognise. There are highs and lows of course, some stories will hit the mark and you'll catch yourself laughing out loud. Others are interesting but land a little wide of the humour mark, but this doesn't mean they still aren't enjoyable. And after all, humour is very subjective. While some rest heavily on satire, there is a fair sprinkling of puns throughout, as well as a smattering of social commentary hidden beneath a thin veneer of silliness. The style of White's writing slips from narrative to reporting in some tales, and regularly switches from first to third person. If you take each story as a piece in its own right, and perhaps read one at a time, or in short bursts the issue noted by other reviewers of 'flow' is dealt with fairly easily. This isn't a book to sit down and read cover to cover, but rather to visit with cups of coffee, at lunch, on the bus. If you can prevent yourself from laughing out loud that is. This is my first opportunity to read any of Dale Andrew White's work, his previous offering Moe Howard Died for our Sins was very well received, and I'm sure this offering will be too. There is no doubt in my mind that White is a natural born storyteller, the 20 short tales within Return of the Dittos (and other stories) confirms that.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2009
If you have the type of humor that appreciates the bizarre and offbeat, and count me in, then you will enjoy the Return of the Dittos by Dale Andrew White. White's eccentric and quirky sense of humor is evidenced throughout the book, taking the reader through twists and turns, delights and mishaps in this collection of short stories.
White begins his collection with "An Unlikely Story," a tale with a shifting narrative that keeps the reader guessing as to the place and circumstances of the plot. The conclusion of the story is creative and unconventional, leaving the reader pleasantly surprised. Other stories, such as "On Tour with Confederate Thunder" are simply hysterical. In this story a generic sixties rock musician delights and repels a Rolling Stone magazine-type reporter with the history of his band, all while in a drug induced haze. And just as you've seen in countless exploitive interviews, the reporter treks to this has-beens mother who, of course, foreshadowed her son's demise years ago, summing up his life with this astute comment, "[He went] to Sodom and Gonorrhea, just like the Bible warns." There are many funny lines in this mock send up of a washed up band, and White makes the tale thoroughly believable and funny.
"Principal Knuckell Meets the Press" brings back wistful memories of high school journalism class and the predicament of writing countless hackneyed stories of cheerleaders and cafeteria food while ignoring the more controversial aspects of school politics. When Adam decides to investigate who benefits most from the school budget, he lands in hot water with the administration. Despite the fact that his hopes of making the paper more relevant are dashed, Adam finds a way to outsmart the principal and keep the paper going. It is stories like this that go to the heart of the debate about free speech and school censorship, all the while White manages to relay the account with wit and panache. Some stories are equally ambitious, but deflate about half way through. "The Craving" is one such story that has an interesting premise, but suddenly goes awry and becomes more mocking than humorous. However, on the whole this is a well written book by a very talented author.
The stories vary in style, from satire to subtle humor to slapstick. Each story is compact and varied in subject matter and tone. White's creative instinct and zany sense of humor are what make the stories so compelling. Reading Return of the Dittos is a satisfying way to spend the afternoon.
Quill says: An original book of satirical short stories from a talented author.